Can I Still Get Compensation if I Wasn’t Wearing A Seat Belt?

Being involved in an auto accident while you weren’t wearing your seat belt doesn’t mean you can’t expect compensation. There are many elements that go into injury claims, especially when it involves serious injuries and suffering. In order to establish a basis for your claim you need to ask a vital question first; Who was responsible?


Building A Case

Every state has different laws regarding seat belts, but in the end they all say the same thing – never drive without them. Even though these laws are in place, it doesn’t automatically excuse the person that was responsible. If the other party caused the accident and you suffered an injury, you have a right to ask for compensation. However, there is a process involved and it could lead to complications.

The Factors

An investigation needs to take place, which needs to prove who was to blame. This is typically done by the police and legal parties. Unfortunately, this isn’t a flawless system and is also the reason lawyers launch their own inquiries. There are cases when police statements are inaccurate or incomplete and this will automatically affect your chances of making a successful claim, whether it’s in court or with your insurance company.

The second factor is based on the coverage of the responsible party. Is that person insured, and how much is the insurance company willing to pay? In many cases, insurance companies will try to throw out the claim completely or decrease the amount. In this particular instance they will try to penalize you for not wearing a seat belt. This is why legal representation is crucial. Like every other business, they are trying to turn a profit.

Establishing Compensation

There is no way to predict an actual amount, because everything involved with the accident plays a crucial part. Estimations have to be made according to certain details, such as the amount of pain you’ve suffered, your medical expenses, your ability to keep working and so forth. There may also be a question of future problems related to the injuries you sustained, which will require medical care. All of these things factor into how much compensation you can receive. Remember that the court will assign you a degree of fault, because technically you were breaking the law by not wearing your seat belt. This means that a percentage of the money that has been awarded to you has to go to the state.

If you have been involved in a car accident while not wearing a seatbelt, it’s important to seek legal counsel immediately. A personal injury attorney can help to ensure you have the best chance of fair representation, increasing the likelihood that you’ll receive compensation for any injuries. The Law Office of Robert L. Meissner provides experienced legal representation for those involved in auto accidents in Sacramento. Contact us at 916-473-1537 to speak with our staff and learn more about how we can help!